COLUMBIA — Muffin, a 2-year-old Pekingese, became Hound Dog Homecoming Queen on Saturday by raising $585.44 for the Central Missouri Humane Society.
Her owner, Barbara Jackson, adopted Muffin from the shelter and has been a volunteer for four years.
“I wasn’t going to get another dog, but she won me over,” Jackson said. “It had been eight years since I had a dog, and putting them down when they got old just got to be too hard. I’ve laughed more since I’ve had her than ever before.”
The fourth annual Hound Dog Homecoming was held outside the Humane Society at 616 Big Bear Blvd. and featured music, carnival games and food from Smokin’ Chicks BBQ.
Six cats, seven female dogs and six male dogs competed for the titles Hound Dog Homecoming Queen and King and Feline Ambassador.
The candidates that raised the most money in their category were crowned. They collected a combined total of $2,775. The event also earned $623 in ticket sales for games.
Animals and owners alike participated in games such as Plinko, "Pup Pup Golf" and bobbing for hot dogs. At another booth, "Pawcasso," dogs painted a picture with their paws.
Gromit, a long-haired miniature dachshund, was named Homecoming King. He and his owner, Hayden Kristal, a freshman at Stephens College, raised $365 for the shelter.
Gromit is a local celebrity in his hometown in Michigan, where his picture hangs in pet stores, Kristal said. The dog has a double dapple gene, which caused him to have white instead of brown fur, and he was also born blind.
“We wanted to socialize him from the beginning because blind dogs can be aggressive,” Kristal said. “They get nervous when you approach them.”
The Feline Ambassador winner, Lucky, raised $200. The competition included cats for the first time last year, said Allison Brown, shelter relations coordinator.
This year’s Hound Dog Homecoming royalty each took home a basket of pet toys and a trophy, and their pictures will be displayed in the Humane Society’s lobby over the next year.
The event raised money for the Humane Society’s adoption services.